Public Safety Warning: Counterfeit Currency

The Champaign Police Department has received several reports of counterfeit currency being presented to area businesses and are notifying the community about this fraudulent crime.

Investigators have learned that much of the counterfeit currency is often placed into circulation by passing it through the hands of several persons. These persons then continue to circulate the money by making small purchases at area businesses. In the majority of the reported cases to the Champaign Police Department, the offender has sought to make a small purchase with a counterfeit $100 bill in an attempt to recover as much real currency in return.

Police are encouraging all businesses to review the security features of U.S. Currency and how to authenticate money and to be wary of unknown persons who attempt to pass along money, ask for bills to be traded out or make unusual requests for change. You can learn the security features of U.S. Currency as well as other safety tips by visiting

If counterfeit currency is suspected, please contact Champaign Police or call your local United States Secret Service Office – the agency primarily responsible for investigating counterfeit currency – as soon as possible.

These crimes are currently under investigation.

Anyone having information regarding those involved with counterfeiting currency can call the Champaign Police Department at (217) 351-4545. If you wish to remain anonymous you may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.

Champaign Police reminds citizens that information submitted to Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. Calls are routed to a third-party national call center that receives your information, completes a tips information form, and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Caller ID tracking is not utilized by Crime Stoppers and conversations are not recorded.